In the past few years, the career of Betty White, veteran actor, has seen a huge boost once again. Her work has spanned over 7 decades, since she began modeling at age 17. Although investigating overall fame is beyond the scope of this post, I thought that it might be fun to look at her career (or a few moments of it) and her marriages in light of these two classical techniques.
According to the Wikipedia entry for Betty White and her page on IMDB.com, she has been married three times. The first, to Dick Barker, lasted only a few months, from June to December 1945. The second marriage was also short-lived, lasting only two years, from late 1947-1949. Her third marriage was to fellow game-show host Allen Ludden, and lasted from 1963 until he died in 1981 of stomach cancer.
In Betty’s natal chart, her house of marriage (7th house) has no planets in it, and Aquarius is on the cusp. Being a fixed sign, we would suspect that a marriage would last. However, being ruled by Saturn, there are sure to be some problems. Happily for her, Saturn in her natal chart is in quite good shape in Libra, where it is well-dignified by exaltation and triplicity. It is in her second house, so marriage and money/material security will have some link. It is also conjunct the Moon in late Virgo; the Moon rules her Midheaven (10th house cusp) and is therefore an indicator of career. So we see marriage and career as two areas that are likely to be tied to one another.
1945 was a twelfth-house profected year for Betty. The twelfth house is a place of loss, sorrow, hidden enemies, confinement, major illness. While there is no information readily available on line about why they divorced, the fact that Dick Barker was a chicken farmer (as well as military pilot) was probably too confining for someone with major Hollywood ambitions. It’s possible too, that they did not get along at all (hidden enemies), though without more documentation, it’s impossible to say for sure. Betty’s 12th house has Cancer on the cusp, which is ruled by the Moon, also in her second house. So perhaps she sought a security in the relationship that didn’t manifest. Regardless, marrying during a 12th house year not the best indicator of success. When Betty married Barker, she was in her Jupiter/Sun firdar. Jupiter had taken major rulership in 1942 for 12 years, and this particular year was co-ruled by the Sun. Jupiter is dignified in her natal chart, is in the 3rd house, and rules the 5th (lovers) and the 8th (death).
Betty married again in late 1947, and this marriage lasted just two years. 1947 was a 2nd house profected year for her, so again, money and security come into play. Also, Saturn, the ruler of her 7th house (marriage) is in her 2nd house, so whenever a 2nd house year rolls around for her, relationship is one of the key themes (in addition to money). Saturn also rules her 6th house of work; so it’s not terribly surprising that she married her agent, Lane Allen. Jupiter was still her major period ruler in the Firdaria scheme, but by now, Venus was the co-ruler. Venus is in Betty’s 6th house of work also, in Capricorn, fairly well dignified in that sign, though combust (too close to the Sun) and in a house that’s not the greatest one to be in anyway. So at best her Venus is in middling condition; in reality, it’s in somewhat poor condition. In addition, Jupiter and Venus are square to one another in her natal chart. So a fantastic marriage is not a likely result.
Two years later, when she divorced, she was near the end of a 4th house year. The focus here would have been on home and family. She has a very powerful Mars, dignified in Scorpio, right on her 4th house cusp. Regardless of the focus on the home, this will be a contentious year, given Mars’ placement there. Also, by now, the co-ruler (still along with Jupiter) for that year was Mercury, which is also in her 6th house, but is square to the Mars. So there is a lot of conflict going on here having to do with home, family, work. Mercury in her chart rules her house of friends, and Betty is quoted as having said that she and Lane Allen were good friends, but that they should not have married.
White’s third and most successful marriage came in 1963 to fellow game show host Allen Ludden. That year was a profected 6th house year for her. Again we see the focus on work. And remember that the 6th house is ruled by Saturn, which also rules her 7th house. So we see a permanent connection between daily work and marriage for her. With this marriage, the connections is the strongest, and the two worked together on many TV shows in the next two decades.
In mid-1963, Betty was in the middle of the three-year span that was ruled by the North Node. Generally, the North Node is seen as of the nature of Jupiter and Venus, the two naturally benefic planets. So this would have been a far more positive time than in previous marriage years. Her natal North Node is conjunct her dignified Saturn (ruler of 7th house of marriage) in her 2nd house (money). So the timing on this one is looking far better for success.
Ludden died in 1981 of stomach cancer. Once again, White was in a profected 12th house year (loss, sorrow, hidden enemies, serious illness). Her 12th house has Cancer on the cusp (yes, there is a connection between Cancer and cancer in that it is a very fertile sign, and cancer is unbounded growth). Cancer also rules the stomach. By now, Betty was in a Venus/Jupiter firdaria. Remember from earlier that Venus and her Jupiter square one another in her natal chart. Remember also that Jupiter rules her 8th house – death.
One might ask: If Saturn rules White’s house of marriage (7th house), then why wouldn’t she be more likely to marry during a Saturn Firdar? For those born at night, Saturn is the major ruler from age 9-20, most of which is a far less likely time to marry. The next major Saturn period began in 2006 at age 84, and will last until 2017 (see below for comments on this and career). Again, unlikely ages for marriage. There were two periods in which Saturn was a co-ruler before Betty married Ludden: from mid-1952 until early 1954, and from January 1959-January 1960. Since I haven’t read a detailed biography of her, I can’t really say what happened during those times, but it’s likely that there were some proposals or at least possibilities of marriage hovering around.
(An interesting note: Ludden’s first wife died days before their 18th wedding anniversary; Ludden himself died just days before his and White’s 18th wedding anniversary. One day, it may be worth a look at his chart to investigate this “coincidence” in depth.)
Coming Next: Betty White's Career